Simplify Sunday- a Solution For Storage Containers

before and afterI asked everyone for ideas last week on how to organize my storage containers (Tupperware, Pyrex, random metal containers- all different shapes and sizes). I got almost everything in order, but this cabinet is always killing me! General consensus seemed to be that the best idea was to stick to the same shapes (too late for that) and store the lids separately. Here is my before and after! I know it’s not drastically different, but I’m pretty excited about the new look.

I didn’t really want to buy anything new, so I created this little box from things we had. I’m only a little ashamed to say that I pulled a cardboard box out of the recycling.

lidsI bent it to fit the space we had, then cut it so that I had sides and folded in the ends. I taped it all together with packing tape. At this point, it looked terrible. I decided to wrap it in wrapping paper. Then I went over it again with clear contact paper, to attempt to make it easy to clean and more waterproof (let’s face it, the lids are not always completely dry when they get put away). I lined the bottom with plastic shelf liner (which I also taped to the bottom with packing tape, thinking that it would be really annoying if it was always falling out with the lids). Now we can store all of the lids on the side, and easily pull them out.

I’m hoping this helps, and I’m super excited that I was able to make something entirely with things I already had.

In other news of the minimal, I pulled out a coat that I hadn’t worn in a long time. It’s wool, and I’m allergic to wool. I buy the dumbest things. Anyway, I wore it and it was a nightmare. I was able to convince myself that this beautiful coat must be donated, then went through the upstairs again (I am addicted, I can’t stop!). I found several more things to donate, and some items in the bathroom that were trash. Donation total for the week: $32. I feel so good about how everything is shaping up!

What do y’all think of my container? My husband thinks it’s kind of ridiculous, but he seems happy that the cupboard isn’t shooting plastic out at us every time we open it.

Jillian

Sometimes I Paint- The Grass Is Always Greener

paintingI try not to get too personal about my work, but I have an ever evolving job. My official title is Executive Assistant to the CEO. However, sometimes things get a little out of hand.

One day I was in his office, and he was describing to me a painting that he really wanted. He had never seen such a painting, but he made some scribbles on a scrap of paper. He had the idea that I could find someone to paint this for him, preferably for under $100.

I required a lot of explanation of what his drawing was, but then agreed that it may be possible to make this happen. He gets a lot of ideas, many of which do not come to fruition (due to many factors, one of which is my accomplishing actual work 🙂 ). I think he thought I forgot about it, or maybe he just forgot about it.

Secretly, I had decided that I would take it upon myself to paint it. I like to paint, though I rarely do it. I thought it would be a fun challenge, and it was a few months before Christmas. It’s not like there are very many things you can give to your boss! I figured if it came out too embarrassing, I would just scrap the project and no one except J would have to know.

Except… I was pretty proud of myself! How cute are my cows? I managed to get exactly what he wanted, and he was super shocked. I kind of want to start another project in the next few months, does anyone have any ideas?

Jillian

How To Set Up a Home Bar

full barI have always loved to be prepared for visitors. I like to have something cool to offer when people come over. Having a fully stocked bar isn’t something most people do at home, and maybe that’s why I think it’s so fun. Plus, you know, I like drinking 🙂

This is what my bar looks like. I couldn’t find an actual bar that I really liked, plus they all looked kind of lame and didn’t fit in our great room. I had been begging for one for ages, and J and I finally agreed on this sideboard from Dania. It works well because I just keep everything on top, and use the cabinets for extra dishes and cookbooks. However, you can use anything. In my old studio apartment I used a cool wine rack/cart (similar) that I got off craigslist for $20. You could also use a shelf in your kitchen, the counter top, and old dresser- anything!

starting a barWhen you’re starting out, just go basic. Liquor and supplies are really expensive! I drank cheap liquor until I was about 25, and then I started feeling really hungover from it. Apparently when you get old you need that extra filtering! If you’re young, you can probably get away with it 🙂

This is a basic starter kit idea. You’ll need glasses of some sort. I’ve seen cool glasses at the Dollar Store for $.50 each. The most important are rocks glasses, shot glasses, and martini glasses (add wine glasses if you drink wine). I added a shaker because they are so useful for so many drinks, a wine/bottle opener for obvious reasons, and straws. Having straws takes your drinks up a notch!

Pictured here are vodka, light rum, whiskey, and a specialty liquour. Start with what you like to drink, and then expand by watching what your friends drink or what looks cool on drink menus. With vodka, rum, and whiskey you can make a lot of stuff. A specialty liquour just makes things more fun. You can get fruity flavored things like peach schnapps, or something creamy like Bailey’s Irish Cream (I personally buy cheaper Irish cream because I think they all taste the same).

Let me know if you decide to stock your bar! It’s also a really cool idea to have a “stock the bar” housewarming party. Just have everyone bring their favorite bottle and mixer, then you keep what’s left over. Happy mixing!

What’s your favorite cocktail recipe?

Jillian

Simplify Sunday- My Dresser

Dresser BeforeLast week I posted a picture of my guest room, with some thoughts about my dresser. This is a close up of the dresser. I wasn’t sure if I liked the veil over the mirror. I got some feedback from readers that it would look better if I put the records away, and the idea to frame the veil. I like the frame idea, but I want to use it as a backdrop for something else and haven’t quite figured it out yet. For now, I reorganized a bit and went through the clothes in there. It only holds socks, tights, and work out clothes; none of which count for a capsule wardrobe by most accounts. Still, I like to keep everything as minimal as possible, and this seemed like a quick start for organization.

The dresser itself was a gift from my grandmother. It is part of a set that she has had for years, and I love having a part of her in my home. I sanded off the original paint, which was olive green and very worn. I spray painted it almond, switched out the handles, and lined the drawers in cute shelf paper. It is so fun to see things evolve and continue their usefulness. I like to see things be reused instead of thrown out. I wish I had before and after pictures! However, I do have the after picture of this week’s project.

Dresser AfterWhat do you think? I heard a quote once about how after you get dressed you should remove one accessory. I need to remember that more, because I think this looks much better now.

Here’s what I am going to donate:

  • one new pair of slipper socks that just feel weird on my feet
  • two pairs of trouser socks that I have never ever worn and for some dumb reason have kept for years
  • knee socks that I feel ridiculous in
  • two pairs of work out pants I never use
  • a bandana

Do you have any furniture that has been handed down? The problem with things like this is then you feel you can’t get rid of them if they no longer fit your lifestyle. However, I love my dresser! I would be happy to see my (as of now non-existent) daughter use it someday.

Jillian

My Favorite Wedding Project- the Scrapbook Guestbook

A Page from a Friend that Did AttendI went from planning on skipping a guestbook entirely to coming up with a really cool DIY that was my favorite project. My initial thought was- who even looks at a book of names? I didn’t want to have something that would just sit in a box or on a shelf for all of eternity. Weddings are so full of things, work, and money spent. I wanted to keep the focus on love, family, and friends. I was streamlining and skipping everything that didn’t have special meaning for me (minimalism again!). Then I started to receive cards. I don’t keep a lot of things, but the wedding cards were really pretty, and were full of special and loving wishes. I looked on Pinterest and there were ideas for how to make these into a book, but I didn’t think I would really look at that much more than a guestbook.

I’ve never made a scrapbook in my life. I greatly admire those who do, but that falls into the category of “ain’t nobody got time for that” for me. I don’t know how, but the idea of making a scrapbook popped into my head. Suddenly, I couldn’t picture my wedding without a scrapbook guestbook. I would have the photographer make sure to get a photo of every person, and I would have each guest choose a page to write on for us. Afterwards, I would put their photo on their page. I bought a photo album, a bunch of glue sticks, a flower shaped hole punch, and a book of scrap booking paper.

Jack and Jill's GuestbookMy vision was that I would make the pages ahead of time (because I didn’t want people spending a ton of time feeling like they were forced to do crafts), and I would lay it all out on a table so that people could fill out their page at their leisure.

the Table LayoutI was also able to make pages for guests that couldn’t make it, using cards and other memories that I had. In one case, I created a page for a dear friend that passed away. It was very hard for me that she couldn’t be there, but I liked that she could still be in the book. I used photos and excerpts from letters she had sent me. My sister and brother-in-law couldn’t make it, but they posted this cool photo on our photo website and I made this page:

A Page From a Guest that Could Not AttendIn the end I had several pages left, so I used wedding photos and pieces of cards I was given to create pages such as the one below. I also printed out our ceremony and put it in the book, and added our invitations and several other little things that we wanted to remember.

A Page Decorated With CardsWe have been married a little over two years, and have used this book as a coffee table book ever since. We flip through it occasionally, and people who visit like to flip through it and look for their page. It doesn’t get used every day or anything, but I like having it all in one place and I think it’s a really cool memory book.

Has anyone else tried something like this?

Jillian